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How to get started in Cider. The definitive(ish) guide to beginner&#39

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NikZak

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This is an awesome thread and has inspired me to make my first cider...

Tonight I'm going to Aldi to buy a jug of Apple juice and some baker's yeast for my first go... I was watching a video on the YouTube and the guy put sugar in his also, is it worth doing this or will it make no real difference?
 

Airgead

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It will make it stronger and taste worse

BTW - use a decent brewing yeast. Leave the baking yeast for baking....

Unless you developed a taste for prison hooch while inside.
 

flave_7

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So I've put the cider on to ferment.

10L Apple (golden circle in the end)
8L Apple, pear and raspberry (as that's all they had. No other brand had just Apple and pear!)
1L of strong tea
Juice 2 lemons
400g honey
Safale US-05

OG 1050 currently sitting at 20-22°C
Bubbling away and smells quite nice!

Interested to see how it turns out. Going to leave it in a keg until summer and then force carb it. Bit excited though as a mate did a cider a while back and it smelled really sulphury but tasted fine. Mine isn't doing that ATM and I hope it doesn't!
 

Brew Forky

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A mate who knew I brewed told me he wanted to make cider and asked for some advice. I found this thread and gave him the link, read the whole thread the night after, found juice on a promotion special the day after and now have 18L of cider fermenting away in my spare fermenter.

How's them apples?

6 x 2.4L Berri Apple and Pear Juice
1 x 3L Mildura Apple juice

Dissolved in 750ml:
1 1/2 Lemons
3 Tea bags
120g Honey
100g Brown Sugar
3 year old Coopers kit yeast for nutrients

EC1118 yeast

All out of the blue and quite excitement.
 

Ducatiboy stu

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NikZak said:
This is an awesome thread and has inspired me to make my first cider...

Tonight I'm going to Aldi to buy a jug of Apple juice and some baker's yeast for my first go... I was watching a video on the YouTube and the guy put sugar in his also, is it worth doing this or will it make no real difference?
Ditch the sugar and bakers yeast

Add malt and use a decent yeast
 

NikZak

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I've got some EC-1118 now which will be used for my next batch of cider, I have to say though, the flavor using just baker's yeast was pretty good so hopefully the EC will be even better
 

Airgead

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EC is pretty good. Nice and clean but can be a bit tart with high acid apples. I tend to use 71B as my go to yeast for meads and ciders as it tends to preserve some fruit character (more than EC1118 anyway) and will partially break down malic acid so it tends to smooth out the sharpness in the juice.

The EC1118 is a good place to start though. Used it for years before experimenting with other yeasts.

Cheers
Dave
 

indica86

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Recent cider was made from bargain bin apples and pears from woolies.
Got 15 litres of juice, added juice of a lemon and SN9 yeast.
Several months down the track it is a cracker. Lovely aroma, crisp clean and dry taste.
OG was 1058 so rather strong too.
 

flave_7

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So after 8 days of fermenting bubbling had slowed right down and I thought I'd taste it. Initially quite sharp but quickly dissipated and had a decent level of sweetness that wasn't sickly but not too dry. FG was 1008 So I crashed chilled it. And I'll test tomorrow to see where it's at.
 

decr

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Well after reading through this thread yesterday (like many else in the past), I was compelled to give it a go and holy moly this thing took off like a rocket compared to beer. Hydrated EC1118 seems to love the stuff. Just put down a 4l batch and it was happily bubbling away after a while. It's my first cider so really excited about it, hope it works out and it will be interesting to finally taste this "dry" cider everyone is going on about. Obviously it's not the "dry" swill you get from the local...
 

Mutaneer

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Make sure you give it some nutrients with EC1118, either a handful of sultanas or some dedicated nutrient (I use GoFerm)
What juice are you using?
 

jkeysers

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Just found this thread, it’s really interesting! I’ve only ever brewed one cider, from a kit, and it’s not bad. That artificial sweetener definitely has a taste though.

So after reading a big chunk of this thread, I have a few questions.
1. I understand that people put the tea in for tannins. What is the significance of pear (a lot of people using apple AND pear juice)? Brown Sugar? Honey?
2. I notice some people using lemons. Just the juice or the zest as well? I’ve had great success with zest of lemons and limes in beers, wondering how it would work here.
3. Thinking about sweetening. My wife likes Rekorderligs. They’re too sweet for me, but I would like to end up with something maybe just a little less sweet than Rek. I use kegs, and I CC before I keg to reduce sediment (I assume it’s the same for a cider?). Given that he cider would be cold when kegged (and the yeast inactive) could I pour some juice in the kegs with the brew to sweeten things up. How about other sweeteners to put in at keg time? Sugar water. Sprite/Solo or something? Just spitballing here :)
4. How about juices with other fruits? Or even cloudy apple juice (which I love).
 

TimT

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Pear juice is similar to apple juice; a pure pear juice cider is called a perry. If you mill the pears or apples yourself and then crush the juice out yourself, you will probably get some tannins from the flesh (though depends on the variety - the most common pear and apple varieties are selected for sweetness rather than the tart, dry tannin taste). Otherwise you should consider somehow adding tannins into the process (oaking is another way that could have pleasing results - ie, ageing on oak chips or in an oak barrel).

Brown sugar is a fairly simple sugar and will almost entirely ferment out, making your cider high and dry (high alcohol, little body). Too much sugar and the cider will lose its cidery qualities and be less pleasant to drink.

Honey is a bit more complex but is basically fermentable sugar too; it will also tend to leave your cider high and dry. Add lots of honey and you won't have the base for a cider: you'll have cyser - a type of mead made out of apple and honey. I recommend this, but it's different to cider and will need some ageing, possibly a good deal of ageing.
 

TimT

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I've been pleased with many of my ciders this year. I got a pick of a fairly wide variety of apples and switched from champagne yeasts (which I used in previous years) to White Labs cider yeast, or, in one case, a wild cider. I also did two cysers - one on a red wine yeast, the other on a wild yeast I harvested myself mid-last year.

The results have tended to tartness but you can definitely taste the apple and there also seem to be some remaining sugars.

I think the lesson from this is pick a variety of apples and make sure they're fresh. Being selective about the yeast may help too.
 

Airgead

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Pear juice also contains an unfermentable sugar called sorbitol. So it will add some residual sweetness. How much depends on a lot of factors like pear variety, ripeness, etc.
 

TimT

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i-like-chicken, question 3 is answered at the start of this thread with Airgead's initial post.

As to question 2 and question 4, I quite like lemon zest, not sure if it would go in a cider - as it tends to add a lemony bitterness to it and in a fermented cider you will already have a lot of tartness. I guess it could go well in a spiced cider. Other fruit of course can be used; if they've got sugar then generally they can be fermented. If you add a lot of fruit though you won't have a cider. You'll have a fruit wine. Possibly not one with much sugar either; as a lot of fruit wines seem to be made with fruit *and* sugar.
 

Airgead

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wareemba said:
where do (can?) you get this locally?
It can be a little tricky to find. I used to buy mine from I brew (ibrew.com.au). They have it in 10g foil packets or 100g blocks. I tend to buy mine in kilo packs at winemaker's suppliers these days.

Cheers
Dave
 
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